Lotus just keeps on doing what it does best: Refining its existing lineup to draw in different types of buyers. The latest addition to this growing lineup is the Exige Cup 430.
Being the wildest of the Exige range, this is, of course, the most potent of its kind. Lotus tweaked its supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine to deliver 430 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 6,800 rpm. This is a boost of 55 horsepower and 23 pound-feet when compared to the previous range-topping Exige, the Cup 380.
This engine pairs with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission via a 240-mm diameter clutch, which is 12 mm larger than the Cup 380’s clutch. This extra 11 percent of surface area should result in a more positive engagement and less slippage as it heats up.
The result of this updated powertrain is a 0-to-60 sprint of 3.2 seconds and a 180-mph top speed. These are improvements of 0.2 seconds and 5 mph when compared to the Cup 380.
Lotus’ other mantra is making it lighter, and the Cup 430 lives up to this with a 12-kg (26.4-pound) lower dry weight. This puts it at just 1,059 kg (2,335 pounds) and drops its power-to-weight ratio from 355 horsepower power tonne to 407 horsepower per tonne. Some of the weight-cutting items include its carbon-fiber sport seats, binnacle surround and door sills, lightweight seat runners, and Alcantara-trimmed center console, door panels, dashboard and steering wheel.
Lotus’ other key ingredient is downforce, and the Exige Cup 430 delivers there too. It delivers up to 220 kg (485 pounds) of downforce using its new front clam panel, new-design splitter, carbon-fiber air blades, and high-mounted rear wing.
The Exige is a track-only model in the U.S., so it remains uncertain if buyers here can get this model. In the U.K., it is available now from £99,800 ($131,245.98).